I’m a driver and a cyclist. I pay Vehicle Excise Duty and have done for years. That ‘Duty’ isn’t Road Tax before we start, that was abolished in 1937 but it was never called Road Tax. Anyway, I digress…
I cycled 5 miles yesterday with my video camera turned on and saw a driver nearly hit another vehicle trying to pass me and 2 more dangerously speeding. As I’m tootling along I just think ‘why?’.
The driver who appears first in the clip, NU60 KYE, gives me plenty of space and I applaud them for that, but in doing so on a corner where you can’t see what’s approaching due to the bridge, narrowly avoids hitting another car head on. Now what did this pass accomplish? Not much. We were heading into a 30mph zone where the driver could have easily and safely passed me. I would estimate it might have delayed them 30 seconds but that time would have been made up by the time they caught up with the other traffic. So no real gain. Madness.
I then cycle along and a group of cars passes. all give me space but the final 2 cars (DV57 NYT & Y837 HNL) appear to be racing – maybe going 70mph and having to slam their brakes on to avoid the cars in front. The final car has it’s windows down and the driver and passenger have their arms out of the window shouting. I have no idea what they said but due to the cars in front they made no time up speeding and only made me feel unsafe on the road.
So why do we do it? I have no idea. We all turn into different animals when we get behind the wheel of a car. If you are reading this thinking ‘Bloody cyclists, what do they know’ etc I beg you – get on a bike and cycle a busy main road and see how safe you feel. We don’t have a metal box keeping us safe.
Since I took up cycling I’ve slowed down when driving. I did used to break the speed limit and get frustrated. I do get it. But just think, is the few seconds that you MIGHT gain when passing a cyclist on a blind corner or at 70mph worth risking their life or even your own? Or even the lives of the children that might have been in the car you nearly hit head on at the bridge? Possibly not.
Let’s all try and get along eh?